I am happy to report that my essay, ”Beyond Cyber-Doom: Assessing the Limits of Hypothetical Scenarios in the Framing of Cyber-Threats,” has recently been accepted for publication by the Journal of Information Technology & Politics.
This is a significantly revised version of a working paper that I wrote last year for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. It has been revised to contribute to scholarship that combines framing theory with securitization theory to examine the emergence of new security threats. Here is the abstract to the revised version of the essay, which should be out some time in 2012:
Cybersecurity proponents often rely upon cyber-doom scenarios as a key tactic for calling attention to prospective cyber-threats. This essay critically examines cyber-doom scenarios by placing them into a larger historical context, assessing how realistic they are, and drawing out the policy implications of relying upon such tales. It draws from relevant research in the history of technology, military history, and disaster sociology to examine some of the key assertions and assumptions of cyber-doom scenarios. It argues that cyber-doom scenarios are the latest manifestation of fears about “technology-out-of-control” in Western societies, that they are unrealistic, and that they encourage the adoption of counter-productive, even dangerous policies. The paper concludes by offering alternative principles for the formulation of cybersecurity policy.